The Low Road

What can they do

to you? Whatever they want.

They can set you up, they can

bust you, they can break

your fingers, they can

burn your brain with electricity

blur you with drugs till you

can’t walk, can’t remember, they can

take your child, wall up

your lover. They can do anything

you can’t stop them

from doing. How can you stop

them? Alone, you can fight,

you can refuse, you can

take what revenge you can

but they roll over you.

But two people fighting

back to back can cut through

a mob, a snake-dancing file

can break a cordon, an army

can meet an army.

Two people can keep each other

sane, can give support, conviction,

love, massage, hope, sex.

Three people are a delegation,

a committee, a wedge. With four

you can play bridge and start

an organization. With six

you can rent a whole house,

eat pie for dinner with no

seconds, hold a fundraising party.

A dozen make a demonstration.

A hundred fill a hall.

A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;

ten thousand, power and your own paper;

a hundred thousand, your own media;

ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time,

it starts when you care

to act, it starts when you do

it again and they said no,

it starts when you say We

and know who you mean, and each

day you mean one more

-Marge Piercy

From “The Moon is Always Female”, published by

Alfred A. Knopf, Copyright 1980 by Marcy Piercy.

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